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The Best Substitute Teacher Treats Each Day Like An Interview

What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Resumes: Write a Winning Resume and Cover Letter and Land Your Dream Interview, by Richard N. Bolles is a recent book that illustrates some of the changes in hiring that have taken place in the past decade. Although it doesn’t focus specifically on education, it supports why it is so important for a substitute teacher to always be striving for success. Bolles explains that candidates are more likely to find success in the job market, not by compiling a strong resume, but by finding opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities. Substitute teachers have this opportunity every time they are assigned a job.

There is a misconception that substitute teachers are glorified babysitters, incapable of carrying out proper lessons plans in the absence of the regular classroom teacher. To be an excellent substitute teacher, you cannot let this become a self-fulfilling accusation. It’s easy to coast through a substitute assignment if you view it as nothing more than quick supplemental income. If you are an educator who aspires to transition into a fulltime teaching position, substitute teaching may be the gateway into the profession.

Here are some general tips that will help you treat each day like an interview:

On time means five minutes early

Arrive at your building a few minutes early. This will not only give you time to better prepare for the day’s tasks, but it will also demonstrate that you are professional and dependable. Also, don’t race out of the building at the end of the day. A substitute teacher who volunteers to stay at dismissal and assist with bus duty speaks volumes to administrators.

Dress the part

Some schools have a lax dresscode for teachers, but you should always dress as a professional. Arriving at a job in professional attire shows that you are committed to your assignment and you are taking it seriously.

Be assertive

Many subsitute teachers bring a book, newspaper, or computer tablet to help pass the time. If you are hired as a substitute, you are in the school to work. Don’t spend downtime sitting idle at the teacher’s desk. If another employee at the school witnesses this, it immediately sends the wrong impression about your work ethic. Instead, stop down to where you first reported for the job and ask if you can assist with anything. Even if all rooms are fully staffed, schools can always use an extra set of eyes in the hallways or cafeteria.

Bolles explains in his book that a job candidate should find ways to demonstrate positive characteristics because “doing is more important than telling.” Your unfaltering work as a substitute teacher will help employees see your potential firsthand. Contact us for more ways to maximize substitute teaching as a way to transition into an opportunity for long term employment.

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